The number of single people in their late twenties and early thirties seems to be at an all-time high, compared to past years. More and more people remain single well past the magical age of thirty.
Marriage experts have analysed things and reported marriage is being delayed by many years spent schooling and the difficulty in getting a stable job in today’s mad world.
Men in bars and women in hair salons have separately held serious discussions and identified other reasons for these delays.
Young women complain young men are no longer responsible. The boy child is obsessed with having a good time, drinking, sleeping around and avoiding the siring of kids. They are irresponsible and unreliable, even where they can provide for their baby mamas, they do not want to.
Young men on the other hand lament a serious shortage of wife-material in our midst. The girls have become too materialistic, they counter. They no longer offer the pure kind of love that our mothers gave to our fathers. They are obsessed with money, make-up and fake hair. They are not willing to be home makers and care givers. Many are self-hawkers, auctioning their goodies to the next loaded guy.
We are in a crisis! At no time in our history have we had so many men and women of marriable age who are not in a serious relationship of any kind. A tragedy of regrettable proportions!
Yet in our midst we still have a few lucky young people who find love and enjoy marriage.
How is this possible? What kind of magic portion do they use? How do they manage to find suitable marriage partners that make us envious of their love stories?
There are certain qualities that we look for in a suitable mate. Unfortunately, these things that we look for can be the clouds that cover our eyes and stop us from finding the right partner.
Joyce is my colleague at work. We talk a lot, it’s very hard not to talk to Joyce. She is a marketer and an overly friendly person who has no qualms sharing her every thought with anyone who cares to listen. She is a good open soul, aged thirty-one and single like a pin.
Bartholomew is our accounts assistant. He is twenty-nine, a bachelor, a quiet man and kind to a fault.
I once asked Joyce ‘You say there are no good men to marry, what of Bartholomew? He is shy but I have seen the way he looks at you from a distance’
‘Bartholomew? You want me to be called Mrs. Bartholomew? Like seriously, that can’t work. Besides he is too young, too boring and lives in Eastlands. If I can afford rent for myself in a better side of town, why should I risk raising kids in Eastlands? I also can’t consider a man from that tribe, they are not romantic.’
That’s Joyce for you.
Now assuming 30% of Nairobi’s population lives in Eastlands, it means for Joyce she has already blocked out roughly 30% of the eligible young men in the great city of Nairobi.
Joyce is also the proud owner of a green Mazda Demio which she is financing though a salary loan. ‘How do you survive in Nairobi without a car?’, she wonders.
Now times are hard in this country of ours. Assuming only 10% of young men in Nairobi own cars, Joyce can only consider this 10%.
Remember of the 10%, 30% live in Eastlands, so in reality she is now looking at 10% of 70% which is 7% of the population of young men. Don’t worry about the accuracy of this computation, just flow with me.
But Joyce also wants to date men who have been to university. She needs to be with someone who she can relate to at an intellectual level. Assuming only 5% of young men in her age group have graduated from the University, she is now looking at 5% of 7% of men in Nairobi. 5% of 7% is 0.35%. Joyce has narrowed down her potential mates to a dangerously narrow group.
You would think that’s enough for Joyce. But no, she has another very reasonable preference.
The man must be working. Let’s say only 30% of university graduates get stable office jobs within 5 years of graduation, Joyce is now looking at 30% of 0.35% of young men in her age bracket. That gives her a wide selection of 0.1% of the young men in Nairobi.
I say Nairobi, because Joyce spends all her time in the city of garbage. She goes to the village on Christmas morning and returns at night fall to chill with the girls at Brew Bistro. She has no time for the village young men. Never ever. There is no Kenya outside Nairobi.
The man must also be Christian. If only 60% of young men in Nairobi go to church (this is how Joyce identifies Christians), it means Joyce chances have now dropped further to 60% of 0.1%. Yes, she is looking at only 0.06% of the pizza of young men of marriable age that have been placed before her.
For those of us who are mathematically challenged, this is the result of 60% of 0.1%. Relax, you don’t have to cram that, KCPE exams have already ended. I know you get the point.
Last but not least, the man must be older than her or of the same age, with a good sense of dressing, a sense of humour and must look as though he can father the kind of babies that Joyce looks at and screams, ‘Oh my God, so cute. Mwaah!!!!’
For these reasons therefore, Joyce cannot have coffee with Bartholomew even though he is a polite, kind, considerate and God-fearing jew who wishes to have three kids as soon as possible and has a diploma in accounting.
Besides Bartholomew, there are also other young men in the office who are single but of dubious character. DK is one of them. His parents named him Andrew Kuregeta but his preferred name is Drew or DK because that is more cool. More cool, heh.
Drew (or DK) has a list too. Now for every quality he is looking for let us assume a certain percentage of the girls in the city have it, okay? Cool.
DK (or Drew, sigh) is looking for a college educated lady (say 30% of population of young ladies); a good cook, especially of chapatis (let’s be kind and say 50% of girls can cook good chapati); a Christian (say 60% of girls go to church); a girl with well-rounded buttocks (say 25% of girls have well rounded buttocks, no? Okay, am sorry, I don’t know what is well-rounded buttocks); a girl who is not money-minded (allow me not to estimate here please, I wish not to be stoned) and is submissive (the 10% who will not ask him why he gets home every Friday at 4 am smelling like a dead rat that drowned in a brewery).
And just like that DK has limited his chances to only 0.2% of the population of marriage-ready young ladies in his age group. Multiply all those percentages and correct me if am wrong. Still, you get the point. Out of this 0.2%, 50% have already been married. DK has now constrained himself to looking for a mate within only 0.1% of girls who are his age mates.
What am saying here friends, is that every day we come across good people. But we don’t see these good people because we are clouded by dressing, religion, money, appearance, employment status, age, tribe and financial ability. Who told you all men at the age of 28 are immature? Who told you all women at the age of 28 are mature?
I will not even talk about pride and how it clouds our judgement. That’s a topic for another day.
Is there an increase in socially irresponsible behaviour amongst young people that makes it hard to find a marriage partner? Yes. Is it easy to find love? Definitely not. Do good people still exist out there? Yes, they might be few but they do exist. Every day we meet atleast one good person amongst the many bad people but we don’t see them because we are clouded by our prejudices. You probably met your soulmate this morning, but you didn’t see her.
That girl going to work in an over-sized yellow t-shirt, brown trousers and bathroom slippers could be the kindest, most intelligent, God-fearing, loving and responsible human being you will meet ever meet. And just because she is not dressed in tights does not mean she does not have a sexy side. Your loss gentlemen, your loss.
That quiet accountant living next door might be an introvert but once you get to know him you might discover he is brilliant, funny, adventurous and faithful. He is the kind of considerate man who walks to work because he is saving to build a house for his future kids even though he is yet to meet their mother. Your loss ladies, your loss.
Learn to look at someone twice, and to see people for who they really are, not for what they appear to be. Do not narrow your view, do not let your prejudices cloud your eyes. You will find your soul mate.
If only one quality can lock-out upto 70% of potential marriage partners, do you now see how several qualities can make it seem impossible for you to find your rightful mate?
Let’s share this message and lower the prejudices. Let’s make it a little easier to find love.